Monday, December 7, 2009

US Supreme Court Michigan v. Fisher 09-91

Decision here.

   Officers responded to a call of a disturbance, and were directed to a house where a man (Fisher) was "going crazy."  When they got there, they found that the house and the car in front of it were fucked up (with broken glass everywhere and a little bit of blood).  Inside the house, some of the doors were barricaded with furniture, and Fisher was throwing things around, bleeding from his hand, cussing at the cops, and telling them to get a warrant.  At some point, one officer pushed a door open and started to walk into the house, but Fisher pointed a gun at him and he retreated.

   The court's opinion doesn't say what happened next, but apparently Fisher was arrested at some point because he was eventually charged with agg assault for pointing a gun at a cop.  The trial court held that the officer's warrantless entry into Fisher's house was unreasonable, and suppressed the evidence against Fisher after that point (which means they suppressed the officer's statement that Fisher pointed a gun at him).  The trial court based their decision on the apparently non-life-threatening nature of Fisher's injuries (and the small amount of blood outside).  The prosecution appealed.

   The Supreme Court reversed, ruling that Fisher's injuries (along with the likelihood that he was assaulting someone else in the house) were sufficient to justify the officer's entry into the house based on exigent circumstances (particularly, the need to provide emergency aid to someone inside).  Nothing surprising here.